|+ Top design and great build quality||- Windows Phone is still clunky|
|+ Powerful, speedy chip||- Dearth of apps|
|+ 4G facility plus wireless charging||- Storage not expandable|
|+ Excellent snapper|
"The Lumia 930 is the best Windows Phone smartphone to date with an impressive snapper, power and good looks too. But it's not without it's flaws."
We were a little worried that we have taken on a phone with an identity crisis when the Lumia 930 came into the office for review. The front and reverse of the device say ‘Nokia’, but we know that Microsoft is now the owner of the part of Nokia that makes handsets, and has already confirmed that it won’t be keeping the Nokia name. And the PR bumf all omits ‘Nokia’ from the phone’s title.
However, putting that to one side for the minute, let’s take a look at the Lumia 930 itself. This has been pushed as a flagship device, with plenty to make it a must-have gadget – from the aluminium body, to the large HD display, 4G, wireless charging, a PureView snapper and some really bright colour choices. As this will very likely be the last-ever Nokia smartphone, will the Lumia 930 be a suitable swansong?
There are two sides to this phone – from the front it looks pretty businesslike and smart, with that black bezel around the screen, aluminium body and the glass-covered frontage. It feels lovely too. But get your shades on before you turn it over – you’re confronted by a stunning bright orange reverse side. And we mean bright. But despite the shock, we love it – such a change from the duochrome phones we are so often presented with. And if orange isn’t your bag, there are green, black and white versions too.
It’s quite a weighty number – coming in at 167g, and is 9.8mm thick. However, thanks to the square metal chassis and its industrial overtones, this just lends to the aura of quality. As do the glass front, which has a very slight taper at the edges and the metal buttons for camera, volume and power.
The display measures five inches and offers a ppi of 441 and HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. But we didn’t need the figures to tell you this is a super sharp screen and looks great. Viewing angles are okay but if you’re looking at anything off-centre, you find the colours do turn paler, but they don’t get any worse as the phone is tilted more away from the centre.
There has already been a major update to Windows Phone 8 this year in the shape of 8.1. This saw features such as Full HD screen support and pull-down notifications centre added. But there is still quite a way to go to catch up with Android and iOS.
The home screen with its colourful tiles is fun – each tile shows live information from its corresponding app. You can see at a glance whether you have unread texts, missed calls and you can see what the weather’s up to as well. The tiles themselves can be moved, resized and also deleted, so the phone is personalised for the user. It is also possible to add wallpaper, although only some tiles will be transparent so that you can see the wallpaper through them.
The pull-down notifications panel – or Action Centre as it is called in this OS – allows the users to easily switch on Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Rotation Lock and Flight mode. It’s a shame that no shortcut for volume and display brightness has been included – you’ll have to delve into the Settings menu for these.
By the way, Microsoft’s version of the iPhone’s Siri will be available later this year – it’s called Cortana.
Generally, performance was impressive, although the handset does get rather warm rather easily. Even just looking through Facebook or Twitter resulted in the bottom right corner getting warm. Nevertheless, battery life proved worthy, with a single charge getting us through a whole day and night.
Onboard memory is a decent 32GB, but this is not expandable.
The cameras on the Lumia range have been impressive so far, and nothing has changed with the 930. While the snapper is not up there with the 41MP model on the Lumia 1020, it’s a 20-megapixel version that still does a great job. Take note that it doesn’t feature optical zooming.
Oddly there are two apps for camera, one called Nokia Camera, the other just called Camera. Both include manual control and the same settings, but they have different interfaces.
We think the Lumia 930 is the best Windows Phone smartphone to date. The high-def screen is delightful, there’s an impressive snapper, power from the quad-core chip – and it looks good too.
It’s just a shame that the Windows Phone OS is a letdown. Although there have been improvements in this version it still has too may omissions and issues if you compare it with Android and iOS. And there’s the age-old problem of lack of apps. Official apps seems short on the ground as developers don’t seem to be bothered with creating versions for Windows Phone.
At the end of the day, this is a stunning phone that deserves its flagship status. It is beautifully designed, has plenty of power under the hood but is let down by its software. It’s something of a vicious circle as they need to sell more Windows Phone devices before developers will make the effort to catch up.
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Dimensions: 137 x 71 x 9.8mm
Weight: 167 grams
Screen size: 5.0” FHD AMOLED (1920 x 1080)
Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 display resolution
Pixels Per Inch (PPI): 441 ppi
Processor: 2.2GHz Quad core application processor
On-board Memory: 32GB
Camera: 20 megapixel (rear) 1.2 megapixel (front-facing)
Operating system: Windows phone 8.1
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE: Yes/ Yes/ Yes
Bluetooth / NFC: Yes/ Yes
Battery capacity: 2420 mAh
Colours: Bright Orange, Bright Green, White and Black.
Launch Date: Out Now
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